Catholic bishop resigns after claiming to have brought "shame" on his diocese
The Rt Rev Kieran Conry issued a statement today which said he had "been unfaithful to his promises as a Catholic priest"
A Catholic bishop has resigned from his post, claiming to have brought "shame" on his diocese and the church.
The Rt Rev Kieran Conry, who is Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, covering Surrey and Sussex, issued a statement today which said he had "been unfaithful to his promises as a Catholic priest".
The statement, which will be read in all churches of the diocese this weekend, said: "I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest.
"I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.
"As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future.
"I want to apologise first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this.
"I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness."
Mr Conry, 63, was accused of writing a love letter to the parishioner during an affair six years ago.
He is also understood to have become close to the married mother after her marriage hit a crisis last year.
Earlier this year he denied having a sexual relationship with her but admitted she had twice stayed at his home in Pease Pottage, West Sussex.